Wessels Living History Farm - York Nebraska
Visit the Farm

The Wessels Living History Farm is located just south of the vibrant community of York, Nebraska. For travellers, the farm is just one mile south of Interstate 80 (Exit 353) and Highway 81.

The 145-acre farm now features the home David Wessels shared with his brother. It also features a red, timber frame barn, granary, machine shed, garage, chicken coop and a large windmill typical of the 1920's. Recently, a school and church have been added to the 1920s farm site. Our church was built in 1905 in Thayer, Nebraska, as a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. It was moved to 17 miles to the farm in 2014. The schoolhouse came from Sutton, Nebraska, and was built sometime in the late 1800s. These structures were chosen to begin the "living history farm" experience. To the south, there is a modern tractor display building with many of the tractors, stationary engines and a combine that Dave Wessels restored. Surrounding the buildings is a modern farm operation that is still producing crops.


The address for the Wessels Living History Farm is:

5520 South Lincoln Ave.
York, NE 68467 (Just one mile south of Interstate 80 (Exit 353) and US Highway 81)

Hours of Operation:  The Farm site is open from May 2 through September 30 on Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. & Sundays, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. October through April, the farm is open for special events and by appointment. The admission price for visiting the farm and special events is $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for senior citizens and $3.00 for students. Children under school age are admitted free. The farm can also be rented for parties, reunions, weddings and other special events.

For questions about the physical farm site, including educational programs, tours of the farm, booking the facilities and special programs, please contact:

Or by phone: 402-710-0682

Book a Room for Your Visit at a Special Rate

  Holiday Inn  
  Holiday Inn I-80 York  
The Holiday Inn I-80 York is located within a half mile of the Wessels Living History Farm and is offering visitors special lodging packages that include admission to the Farm. For lodging and availability information please visit the Holiday Inn York I-80 Web Site here.

The House, the Barn and the Four Seasons. Below you'll find a series of QuickTimeVR panoramas that show you how the farm site developed over the years. When you open the movies, just click and drag your mouse to the right or left, up or down, to see a 360 degree, "virtual reality" view of the farm.

  The Interior Almost Refurbished  
The House Refurbished. Today, the house has been completely restored and furnished as a farm house would have been in 1925. Photographs of the Wessels family adorn the walls, the woodwork is immaculate and the dinningroom table is set and ready to welcome guests. See the progress here.
  Inside the house  
Refinishing the interior of the house. During the spring of 2003, Margaret and Elroy Huebert worked long and hard to strip and then refinish the gorgeous woodwork inside the Wessels house. This was early on before much of the restoration had been completed, and you can see some of the challenges that the crew faced. The house had been abandoned for a time, and small fires had been set as practice for firefighters. All of that damage has been repaired and the house is ready for visitors. QTVR.

  The tractor museum  
The Tractor Museum. In this modern building, we have 20 restored tractors, one restored "pull-behind" combine and several stationary engines on display. All of these belonged to David Wessels during his lifetime. Click here or on the image to experience the QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) of the Tractor Museum.
What is this? The pictures above and below are actually a 360° views of the farm stretched out. In other words, the left side of each image matches and continues the right side of the image. If you print out the images, cut them out and bend them into a circle, you get the 360° view – which is exactly what a QuickTime VR (QTVR) movie does. The images are a result of the production of the QTVR movie. So, in reality, the soybean rows in each photo are straight. You might see this even more if you look at QTVRs that are shot inside buildings, like the barn and the house views below. Click on the link or the image to see the QTVR in all its glory.

Winter. For corn farmers, winter is a time to let the ground rest and, hopefully, replenish water stores from snowfall. Click here or on the image to experience the QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) of winter.
Spring. As soon as the ground warms and dries, farmers hurry to plant corn and soybeans. In this view, soybeans in the foreground and corn in the background are both about the same size in this early spring shot. QTVR movie.
Summer. By July, the corn is much higher than the soybeans. Both crops thrived during 2003, despite relatively dry conditions. The QuickTime VR movie is here, or click the image.
Fall. Fall is harvest time. In this scene, the soybeans close to the barn have been harvested. The corn was harvested just days later. Obviously, the viewpoint for this VR has moved a little to the west directly in front of the barn. QTVR.
  Winter 2004  
Winter, 2004. By the winter of 2004, the farm was expanding. As this QTVR shows, a large Dempster windmill now graces the farm. This windmill was built by the company in Texas as a promotional windmill. It has a 14-foot mill on top of a 40-foot tower.
  New corncrib  
A New Corncrib, Summer, 2004. By the summer, a corncrib had been moved onto the farm and was being refurbished. At the moment this QTVR was shot, the crib was being sheathed in new cedar lumber.

  Barn interior  
Interior of the barn shortly after it was moved. In the winter of 2003, the barn was moved onto the Wessels Living History Farm. That process begins as several large steel I-beams are inserted to support the barn during the move. In this VR, the I-beams are in the bottom of the shot. They are, of course, straight, but because of the VR they look curved. Look at the QTVR movie and then back at the still.
  Inside the barn.  
Interior of the barn after the foundation and floor were poured. In May, 2003, the barn was down on its new foundation and a new concrete floor was poured. This floor will allow for a variety of public programs to be accommodated in the barn. QTVR.


Wessels Living History Farm
Farming in the 1920s
Farming in the 1930s
Farming in the 1940s Farming in the 1950s Farming in the 1970s Learner Resources
Media Resources
Our Founder
About the Farm
Visit the Farm
Contact For photos and primary sources, Nebraska Studies web site.
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